For the first time in ages, I'm intrigued by a BlackBerry device.
That's rather unusual these days, but it wasn't always this way. I remember when I first saw the Pearl eight years ago; it was one of the most beautiful devices I'd ever seen. The Curve and Bold series didn't disappoint either. But the magic has been missing from the Canadian phone maker for a long time, evidenced by its struggling sales. Only one in a hundred smartphone owners use a BlackBerry, and the company's older-generation hardware is still outselling current BlackBerry 10 handsets. Now it's putting much of its hope in a unique-looking squarish device called the Passport, which launches today in five countries (with 30 total by the end of the year). The $599 off-contract/$249 on-contract device ($699 in Canada and £529 in the UK, off-contract) is designed to appeal to fans of physical keyboards and large displays. It may not restore the magic BlackBerry's lost in recent years, but my initial experience with the Passport has been more positive than I expected. At least that's a start, right?